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20110711
20110711
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of dollars. >> this is not just -- this is immensely more violence than the ongoing combat in afghanistan. and mexico matters. it's the most important country along with canada on the face of the earth. >> mexican president felipe calderon declared war on drug gangs in 2006. since then about 40,000 people have been killed in the crossfire. >>> now to the death of the iraq war amputee on a six flag roller coaster. tonight experts say both the operator of the roller coaster and the disabled veteran were likely at fault. 29-year-old army sergeant james hackmer was thrown from a 200-foot ride at a six flags park near buffalo. he lost both his legs in the iraq war. both the rider and the operator are responsible for deciding who gets on board. the accident has renewed efforts to get amusement parks under federal regulation. six flags says the ride had no mechanical issues. >>> well, a piece of space junk could become a problem for nasa and the crew of the shuttle "atlantis." scientists are monitoring its location. they estimate it could come dangerously close to the shuttle tuesday during a pl
in on the by taking bribes as well as. >>> leon panetta has been to iraq and afghanistan before but never as defense secretary, that happened this weekend, he's only been on the job for 11 days and already those traveling with him say there's been an unmistakable change at the top at the pentagon. our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski is traveling with him and tonight has an exclusive interview with the secretary. >> reporter: the new secretary of defense leon panetta surveyed iraq from a u.s. military helicopter today and was troubled by the landscape below. u.s. no, sir -- u.s. forces here set to withdraw by the end of the year are once again caught up in a war. panetta told a gathering of soldiers today the killing must end. >> my first responsibility as secretary of defense is to make damned sure that we do everything necessary to protect you. >> reporter: panetta pressured iraq's top officials to send iraqi military officials out to hunt down the attackers. in an interview with nbc news, panetta suggested if not, american combat forces would do the job. >> all i can tell you is i do have
arrived in iraq sunday after a visit to afghanistan. it's his first visit since taking office july 1st. three or four rockets hit the green zone in baghdad early this morning, an apparent signal from insurgents that they were aware of panetta's arrival. 15 soldiers were killed in iraq last month. panetta said iraqi extremists are being armed by iran with sophisticated weapons they're using to find and kill american forces. >> we're very concerned about iran and weapons they're providing to extremists here in iraq. and the reality is that we've seen the results of that in june. we lost a hell of a lot of americans as a result of those attacks. >> reporter: secretary panetta also said he is requesting that iraqi security forces step up security for american troops. if that doesn't happen, he said he has the sole authority to order u.s. military forces to conduct combat operations against the insurgents. >>> the fbi is leading an investigation into the discovery of a stun gun on board a jetblue airplane. cleaning staff found the device, which closely resembles a smartphone in the back sea
is ridiculous. >> one more on afghanistan. defense secretary panetta said "i believe remembers we're in r strategically defeating al qaeda." do you believe that? >> well, he's got a lot of knowledge, so i'd give that deference -- >> that's a big accomplishment, isn't it? do you give credit to president obama in terms of al qaeda? >> he's made good decisions in that regard. finding and killing osama bin laden is good leadership, but this is a multidecade commitment and it's not over yet. >> let me ask about social policy. you've notably said you're a big fan of lady gaga, and even the song "born this way." there's a lot of debate about a gay marriage pledge in iowa, and related to that, i wonder, do you agree with some of those who are behind that, that being gay is a choice? >> well, i have two teenage daughters who listen to lady gaga, so i'm subjected to it, and it has some good qualities to it. but as to gay marriage? i'm a supporter of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. i have not supported the issues of allowing gay couples to have the same benefits and public employment
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